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981 Spyder - Long Term Review

Old 03-03-2018, 01:40 PM
  #1  
Dan Nagy
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Default 981 Spyder - Long Term Review

Sorry, sorry, I am not writing one! I am considering a Boxster Spyder, and wonder about owners long term impressions, especially if they also have a 911 or have had one in the past as a comparison. Thanks kindly.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:01 PM
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Archimedes
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Given they're only two years old you won't get much long term input. But I've yet to hear anyone say they didn't like theirs. Totally different driving experience than a 911.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:58 PM
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I’ve had mine close to a year, and for me the power and handling is perfect. I’d say the best part you rarely will see another one on the road with only 800 approx being in the US. I’ve owned a GT3 RS with my Spyder and I find them to be complementary cars, and no issues owning both because very different experiences. I do think if you have never owned a 911 it’s a treat and just the history of the car is that special. I actually sold my RS last December due to lack of usage and kept the Spyder because I drove it more, and find it to be that special. Can’t go wrong with either, but the Spyder is special which puts it over the top for me.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:03 PM
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PorscheStrong
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I've owned three 911's and the Spyder might be my favorite P-Car so far. It's frustrating because I would otherwise enjoy rotating in and out of cars more frequently, but it's too good to let go of. Really good balance of speed, handling, etc. Love the exhaust note. Fun with top up and down. Driver engagement is excellent, even despite the long gearing (which is the only flaw, IMO). Mine is white - it's nice because it draws lots of attention from car enthusiasts, but not as much from the non-car crowd, as opposed to my guards red 997TT, which gets attention from both, and certainly much more from the non-car folk.

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Old 03-03-2018, 05:44 PM
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Mark Dreyer
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The 981 Spyder is THE epic street Porsche. Barring physical limitations in the future, I plan to keep it lifelong. I’ve owned many Porsche’s over the past 30 years, and this is the first one I’ve thought that way about.

As for the 911, there truly is no substitute for that amazing car, and I’m fortunate to have a nice well used 997 in my stable to get my rear engine fix.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:28 PM
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Jamie140
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Originally Posted by Dan Nagy View Post
I am considering a Boxster Spyder
Stop considering, start buying.

Originally Posted by Mark Dreyer View Post
The 981 Spyder is THE epic street Porsche. Barring physical limitations in the future, I plan to keep it lifelong. Iíve owned many Porscheís over the past 30 years, and this is the first one Iíve thought that way about.

^^ Pretty much the consensus opinion.
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:05 PM
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I’ll offer a dissenting voice. I sold my Spyder after one year and 4K miles of ownership. No regrets.

I kept 1) my 981 base (stripper) Cayman, which I absolutely love, and 2) my 1986 Carrera Targa, which when purchased some time after the Spyder, produced an unexpected dilemma.

You see, the Spyder, as is true of all new Porsches, is defined by its software as much as its hardware. Push a button and you change the exhaust sound, including artificial pops and crackles on overrun created by the fuel injection programming. Push another button and you are in “sport” mode, which has a different throttle tip in. Thank god I was able to order the car without the accursed “wart”, whose only purpose is to provide a cross marketing opportunity between Sirius and Porsche. Then there is the problem of gearing and too much power. Three seconds of fun and then you better be slowing down.

On the other hand, the Spyder is exotic and beautiful. I liked it; I did smile at times. I just didn’t love it.

When I drive the Targa, it’s like I’m “wearing” the car. You feel everything. You smell everything. You hear everything. The only buttons that I occasionally push are those for the power windows (wish they were roll down though). I love that I can hammer through the gears and still be just a little over the speed limit (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:00 PM
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^round about way of saying one Porsche isnít enough. For me the minimum is 4. :-)
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:57 PM
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MidEngineRules
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Originally Posted by Pep!RRRR View Post
You see, the Spyder, as is true of all new Porsches, is defined by its software as much as its hardware. Push a button and you change the exhaust sound, including artificial pops and crackles on overrun created by the fuel injection programming. Push another button and you are in ďsportĒ mode, which has a different throttle tip in. Thank god I was able to order the car without the accursed ďwartĒ, whose only purpose is to provide a cross marketing opportunity between Sirius and Porsche. Then there is the problem of gearing and too much power. Three seconds of fun and then you better be slowing down.
I think most middle aged and up owners of Spyders wouldn't argue this but your dissenting voice has more to do with old versus new. The newer the less visceral absolutely. The Spyder does bridge the gap a little more than other modern Porsches. It still has quite an analog feel. 2016 ended analog. I consider 2016 the end of the visceral Porsche I've grown up with. I have no plan to sell mine. I don't need nor want more power or anything that looks like a 982.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:16 PM
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No doubt I agree there's more technology in the Spyder than desired if you're looking for a completely raw feel. However, I don't think it is a distraction at all, like most technology in modern cars.

For the price and performance, it's as close to perfect as you will get in a modern Porsche that really is designed for the street. If you want something significantly more raw with similar performance, I don't really think there are many other options without spending a lot more money.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:10 PM
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Turn on Sport Plus, turn off exhaust, and slide the under tired car around. Wonderful car.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:44 AM
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Took another hours long drive in my 981 Spyder through epic SE Ohio Hocking Hills roads today (Ash Cave, Lake Hope, Old Manís Cave area). Still love love love this car.

Still prefer it to my 991.1 GT3 and 981 GT4, both of which Iíve since sold.

There is is something so connected about its handling, the manual transmission, the SOUND even with the roof closed, thanks to that thin canvas. And it just looks so damn beautiful.

Have still never seen another 981 Spyder on the road since I got mine last year. Donít know if there even is another in Central Ohio where I live.

Truly a keeper.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:05 AM
  #13  
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Still love mine after almost 2 years and 4100 miles... lucky enough to have other P cars to alternate with (especially when "borrowning" a car from either of my sons) but it is pretty special. For sentimental reasons nothing will replace my 1971 914, but the 981 Spyder is always engaging and fun to drive. Must admit I too wish the gearing was a lot shorter but the shift linkage is the best I've ever had in a Porsche, including my .2 GT3. Of course, I must admit the best linkage of any car I ever had was in a Miata...

Also have to admit the first generation Spyder is very tempting too- love the options with the top and wish they'd kept that top on the 981.
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Old 03-04-2018, 02:50 AM
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Marine Blue
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Originally Posted by Pep!RRRR View Post
Iíll offer a dissenting voice. I sold my Spyder after one year and 4K miles of ownership. No regrets.

I kept 1) my 981 base (stripper) Cayman, which I absolutely love, and 2) my 1986 Carrera Targa, which when purchased some time after the Spyder, produced an unexpected dilemma.

You see, the Spyder, as is true of all new Porsches, is defined by its software as much as its hardware. Push a button and you change the exhaust sound, including artificial pops and crackles on overrun created by the fuel injection programming. Push another button and you are in ďsportĒ mode, which has a different throttle tip in. Thank god I was able to order the car without the accursed ďwartĒ, whose only purpose is to provide a cross marketing opportunity between Sirius and Porsche. Then there is the problem of gearing and too much power. Three seconds of fun and then you better be slowing down.

On the other hand, the Spyder is exotic and beautiful. I liked it; I did smile at times. I just didnít love it.

When I drive the Targa, itís like Iím ďwearingĒ the car. You feel everything. You smell everything. You hear everything. The only buttons that I occasionally push are those for the power windows (wish they were roll down though). I love that I can hammer through the gears and still be just a little over the speed limit (Thatís my story and Iím sticking to it.)
You should give the 987 Spyder a shot, itís every bit as good as the old school air cooled cars and the only electronics are engine management/safety related which really only serve to enhance the driving experience. Iím not saying I donít love my Targa, but I do think the 987 Spyder has that same focused driving experience.
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:23 AM
  #15  
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I had a 981 Spyder for 1.5 yrs and 4200 miles. Agree with what everyone says about how special the car is but...I sold it and after a brief stay with a 991.1 GTS Cab I now have a 997.1 GT3 that is the best car I have ever owned!
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